Survivor musician film shortlisted for Oscar

By Barry Toberman, October 17, 2013

A film about a London-based 109-year-old Holocaust survivor has reached the final eight in the Oscar selection process for the documentary short category.

The Lady in Number Six: Music Saved My Life tells the story of Prague-born musician and teacher Alice Herz-Sommer, who was sent to Theresienstadt.

In the documentary — by Oscar-winning film-maker Malcolm Clarke — she discusses how music and laughter helped her to maintain a positive outlook.

The film has won awards in the United States and will be screened outside America for the first time at the UK Jewish Film Festival next month.The number six in the title refers to the flat in which Mrs Herz-Sommer still lives.

One of the producers, Chris Branch, stressed that the work should not be considered a Holocaust documentary. “It’s about her love of music and how it has pulled her through in adversity. It’s a testament to the power of positive thought.

People have said to me: ‘I will cry when I see it.’ I reply that they will, but not for the reasons that they think,” he said.

Profits from the film will go to the music scholarship trust commemorating Mrs Herz-Sommer’s son, Raphael, a renowned cellist, who died in 2001.

The Oscar shortlist will be whittled down to five nominations for the awards ceremony in March.

Last updated: 12:45pm, October 18 2013